69: Haley & Aldrich with Lizetta Fennessy, General Manger of Eastern Business Unit

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Navigating Growth and Diversity in Structural Engineering: Insights from Lizetta Fennesey of Haley & Aldrich

Structural engineering and geotechnical firms are evolving entities, reflecting the changes in urban development, technology, and corporate culture. Lizetta Fennesey, General Manager of the East Business Unit at Haley & Aldrich, embodies this evolution with her extensive experience and forward-thinking leadership.

Key Takeaways

Empowering Employee Ownership: Understanding the benefits and driving force behind employee-owned business models.
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion: Pioneering initiatives in structural engineering to build a diverse pipeline of talent for the future.
Adaptive Leadership and Growth Strategy: Navigating the expansion from 400 to 1,000 employees while shifting organizational focus to regional business units.
The Impact of Employee Ownership in Structural Engineering Firms
One distinctive feature of Haley & Aldrich’s business model is its employee ownership structure. Fennesey underscores the dual benefit of retention and responsibility this brings to the company. Encouraging employees to own a stake in the business not only incentivizes high performance but also permeates a culture of shared accountability.

“Our clients are relying on us for our experience,” Fennesey states, which implies that when employees truly feel part of the entity they work for, their output aligns more closely with the company’s goals, thus improving client satisfaction. Integrating such a model has proven to be a significant contributor to Haley & Aldrich’s success and growth.

Building a Diverse and Inclusive Future
The commitment of Haley & Aldrich to diversity and inclusion, especially gender diversity, is admirable. With 42% female employees, the company stands out in the field. However, Fennesey acknowledges that there is still progress to be made, particularly in achieving racial and ethnic diversity. By establishing partnerships with educational institutions and offering internships, the company actively works towards creating a more diverse pipeline of future engineers and consultants.

The initiatives of Haley & Aldrich illustrate that real change requires more than statements of intent—it requires action. The steps they take showcase the considerable importance of not only inclusivity within the company but also their contribution to the industry at large.

Leadership and Growth Amidst Organizational Evolution
Discussing the organizational growth, Fennesey brings to light Haley & Aldrich’s agility. The firm managed substantial growth—from 400 to a projected 1,000 employees—by transitioning its structure to align with regional business units. This shift ensured that management could more effectively oversee operations and employee development at a closer range.

Such reorganization indicates that a willingness to adapt is crucial for companies looking to maintain client value while scaling operations. As Fennesey states, “We are talking frequently across all of those channels to make sure that we’re focused on what our clients need.” This client-centric philosophy is echoed in the structural shift.

Reviewing the key points from the transcript, we see a profound dedication to client service, employee growth, and industry impact—elements that define Haley & Aldrich’s ethos under Lizetta Fennesey’s leadership. It’s these core values that urge the company to question the status quo and continuously seek improvement, whether through innovative employment structures, educational outreach for diversity, or operational reformation to harmonize with expansive growth.

As organizations navigate the intricate currents of the structural engineering and design world, embracing these values promises not only to elevate the company in question but also to influence the industrial landscape positively. These insights from Fennesey offer a roadmap for those who aspire to stride ahead, proving that meaningful growth pivots on the axes of inclusion, adaptability, and deep-seated responsibility.

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